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Facebook group surprises entire restaurant staff with tips

A welcome gift for a local staple

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Best Friends Family Diner has been hit hard during the pandemic.

"The first thing you try to cut back on, of course, is labor hours. So we shut down Monday and Tuesday. We are now down to one server per shift," said Gail Bowman, the owner of Best Friends Family Diner.

The Tipping North Country Facebook Group set out to help the staff when they learned about how badly the restaurant was struggling.

"It's a way of giving back to strangers. We raise money throughout the week and donate to a random service worker. Whether it be a server, a cook, it could be a mailman, it could be anybody, anybody in the service industry or local barber and whatnot," said Michael Gines, the founder of Tipping North Country group.

The group raised over $1,500 to tip the entire staff. Each staff member getting $130.

"$130 apiece might seem small to some and large to others. One hundred and thirty dollars is more than what anybody had in their pockets at the time, right? So, it was great to be able to give back," Gines said.

"This is what my people need right now. I have single moms that work here, I have high school kids that work here, people with families and mortgages and car payments. So it was very welcomed," Bowman said.